I’m washing my sandals today. It’s raining and my sandals are outside because they came home so dirty yesterday. I don’t think I’m tough on sandals, but they never seem to last long. Each year I go through two or three pairs. Luckily, I’ve found that cheap ones last about as long as the big name ones! One summer I had new Merrells that went back to the store within the hour. Since then I know to avoid flimsy little Velcro flaps on the heel straps. I bought Columbia’s product next. They lasted three weeks before straps and soles parted company. For the price, I sure was expecting more.
If any sandal designers are looking for some tips, I’m a consumer with a lot to report. I’d be a good sandal tester, too. Keep me in free sandals and I’ll put them through their paces!
Mud seems to be the major downfall of most sandals. The straps don’t stay attached the sole. Some are stuck in with plastic pegs, others just glued in. Neither of these designs works very well in our famous Alberta mud. A good sandal has a lot of Velcro to be sure the mud doesn’t interfere with the straps. You need your sandals to be tight to avoid ankle injury in the slippery mud.A solution to the strap problem is to screw them into the sole. However, when you have been stabbed in the heel by screws a few times, you can understand why this is not a great solution. A glue gun does the best job, but has to be redone after every trip to the creek.
If the straps are too long when tightened, they get caught on undergrowth and tear open. These straps have had some surgery to shorten and reinforce them. There is a lot to a pair of sandals. Pity there is always an Achilles heel.
The only pair of sandals I’ve been able to use for a proper shoe lifetime was a pair of Nikes. I had two pairs that, together, lasted six or seven years. But, for the price, I could have six or seven pairs of other brands. At least what I use my sandals for is cheap and never-ending entertainment 🙂